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that's our report. thanks for watching. i'm john seiganthal. cruising for a bruising. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris mathews in washington. let me start as butch cassidy once asked, who are these guys. what a ratty bunch. they spend their days holed up in the senate taking pot shots at the president, trying to bring down his defense chief, nasty they have nothing good to say for the country, nasty words to spew about the people running it or hoping to. john mccain who served the country admirbly has become an angry fellow taking an occasional break to see who is
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he, enough of this when his allies get out of hand. ted cruz starts attacking the loyalty of america, of one of mccain's fellow vets. the viciousness is something we haven't seen before because of its combination of mccarthyism and weird unconnectedness, attacking chuck hagel because no one will give info about the benghazi situation, even though hagel wasn't even in the government when benghazi happened. sick stuff. seems to be growing. the better he looks the worst these characters, inhofe, cruz and lindsey graham are determined to look. notice the smile on john boehner's face sitting behind the president at the state of the union. if you did you're imagining things. so afraid of the hard hating right are republicans these days of every stripe even boehner's scared of looking like he might actually like something barack obama had to say. to do that today is to risk political death in these days of republican defeat, anger,
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discontent and downright hatred. joy reid of the grio and michael steele, former chair of the republican national committee. both are msnbc analysts and good ones. is this delay on the hagel vote about playing for time, hoping new information comes out about him? "the new york times" reports anti-hagel groups are hoping for exactly that. quote, leaders of these groups said in interviews they expected their efforts to include more phone calls, urging conservative voters to tell their senators to vote no. new efforts to unearth embarrassing details from mr. hagel's past and potentially a new round of television advertisements pressuring democrats to drop their support for him. michael steele, it used to be a president got his cabinet. >> yep. >> now when you want your own defense chief, you get to get the entire opposition party to the last man and woman voting against it in what i don't even get is one reason. i mean if you ask all those republicans what did they do to filibuster this they won't give
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you one answer, each will come up with their own number. >> there is no reason to filibuster this nomination. the president made his choice, coming off a very, very strong election, and, you know, as much as, you know, i may have an issue here or there with something hagel said or did in the past this is the president's choice. he's going to be accountable to the president, not to the republicans in the congress. quite honestly, mccain put it out there. this is personal, not even political. this is the fact that this man bucked the party establishment in 2007 in his views on the war, i think legitimately so, and the fact of the matter is so what. how do you now -- >> he can't be -- barack obama, president obama's chief defense, because he agrees with barack obama on the war. >> yeah. >> i'm sorry, joy. that is the irony here. attacking him for being the guy who gets along with obama. president obama and chuck hagel agree on so many thing. they're friends. >> right.
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>> they have a positive view about the same things in the world. that's why he's going at it. i think the president is sticking his neck out for this guy. they agree on things. >> and mccain, somebody pointed out today that mccain said the statement back when he was a republican as if hagel is no longer a republican because he dares to agree with the guy hiring him to be the defense chief. mccain did put it out there today. >> dwight eisenhower wasn't a republican either because he wasn't a hawk and kept us out of endo china and the middle east and took the heat because he was a guy who knew what was going on in the world. >> you're not sufficiently republican if you don't want to bomb iran. it was ironic today when john mccain put it out there and said basically, chuck hagel was mean to president bush, criticized the iraq war, his fellow members of the senate thought he was not sufficiently loyal republican. that's pretty rich coming from john mccain who made it his life's work to oppose george w. bush. >> was it chuck hagel who said he had an illegitimate child
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with an african-american child and produced a south asian young woman. >> exactly. >> that stuff about his wife cindy being a drug addict. >> yeah. >> was that -- that was w.'s people. karl rove and that crowd. >> exactly. >> which of them did it but somebody did on that side and he forgives those people. >> that's right. >> and says this guy -- this must be some kind of weird transportation of emotion. anyway, yesterday john mccain something truly remarkable as my friend here said, michael, about a moment of pure honesty, exposed what's really behind his opposition to hagel. let's listen. >> there's a lot of ill will towards senator hagel because when he was a republican, he attacked president bush mercilessly. at one point said he was the worst president since herbert hoover. said that the surge was the worst blunder since the vietnam war. which is nonsense. and was very anti his own party and people. people don't forget that.
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>> should have forgotten the fact because he never did say he was the worst president since herbert hoover. wait until they start on you, michael. who put mccain in charge of determining chuck hagel's fate, apparently himself, the great eminence mitch mcconnell. he has deputized senator john mccain as the weather vane by which to judge what republicans should yield on the filibuster. might be a confounding decision since mccain seems to drift from one position to another, sometimes in a matter of hours. sunday mccain had this to say about the prospect of a filibuster against hagel. let's watch. >> we've never filibustered a presidential cabinet appointee and i don't think we should start here. >> on monday, which is a day later, of course, mccain was urging his colleagues on the armed services committee to vote on hagel's nomination saying, quote, i believe he has fulfilled the rigorous requirements that the committee demands. the next day, which is tuesday, he rebuked his colleague ted
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cruz for his criticism of hagel. >> hagel is an honorable man. he has served his country and no one on this committee in any way should impugn his character or his integrity. >> we're going to get to some of cruz's statements in the next segment. tuesday night, hours matter, mccain introduced a new wrinkle with senators graham and ayotte. he wrote a letter to the white house requesting more information about the white house did during the benghazi attack. he told foreign policy magazine, quote, we need to know what the president's conversations were. i would vote no on cloture on thursday unless the information is provided. by tuesday, actually by yesterday, almost every day of the week he's changed his mind, the white house responded to his satisfaction but still didn't vote for cloture. still wouldn't bring this matter up to a vote. here's his latest. let's watch. >> there are still questions outstanding. i believe that senators have the
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right to have those questions answered. senator from south carolina and senator from new hampshire had a response from the president today on the question that we had. but there are other questions. >> like can you give us a copy of every speech you ever gave? give us a dollar for dollar assessment of every dollar you ever made. if you don't tell us we're going to accuse you of getting money from the north koreans. joy, you're younger than me, i think, by a lot of years and i have it to tell you, this does -- we're going to get to this. i'm going to sell this second segment coming up. we went back and looked at how joe mccarthy did it. same techniques of innuendo, character assassination, based on nothing this guy is doing, cruz, who i don't know what he's running for. people say attorney general. i don't know what job he's applying for. i don't know why he's ruining his career with this crap. >> i think he was born in canada. you know, you said earlier in your introduction that john mccain occasionally remembers who he is. i'm starting to agree with joe
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klein. this is who john mccain is. this is a man
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Hardball Weekend
MSNBC February 17, 2013 7:00am-7:30am EST

News/Business. The best of 'Hardball With Chris Matthews.'

TOPIC FREQUENCY Hagel 9, John Mccain 7, Mccain 6, Chuck Hagel 5, Benghazi 3, Us 2, Obama 2, Michael Steele 2, Herbert Hoover 2, Bush 2, Barack Obama 1, North Koreans 1, Inhofe 1, South Carolina 1, China 1, Iran 1, The Union 1, Canada 1, New York 1, Washington 1
Network MSNBC
Duration 00:29:59
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Port 1235
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec mp2
Pixel width 720
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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on 2/17/2013